Hangzhou Spark (5-2) 3-1 Seoul Dynasty (3-4)
The last game of Week 5 ended up being one of the most important games of the stage. This match between the Hangzhou Spark and Seoul Dynasty would determine who would take the last spot in the Stage 2 playoffs. Here’s how it all went down!
- Xu “guxue” Qiulin
- Seong-Wook “Ria” Park
- Kyeong-bo “GodsB” Kim
- Cai “Krystal” Shilong
- Ho-jin “iDK” Park
- Hui-chang “BeBe” Yoon
- Jaehwan “Adora” Kang
Lijiang Tower: Seoul 2-0 Hangzhou
Things started off rough for the Hangzhou Spark on Lijiang Tower. The Seoul Dynasty would be the first to cap on Control Center; they would maintain this hold until GodsB got a great pick on Dong-eon “FITS” Kim. This pick gave the Spark the opening they needed in order to push onto the point. Taking out Min-seo “Marve1” Hwang and Sang-beom “Munchkin” Byeon, Hangzhou would manage to flip the point at 99%.
Only needing a team fight to flip the point back in their favor, Seoul stunned their fans as their attempts to reclaim the point backfired. Ria would end up snacking on one of FITS’ Graviton Surges. For a moment, it seemed as though the Spark would walk away with Control Center under their belt. However, the Dynasty came back with a vengeance. Although BeBe got a pick on Marve1, FITS’ Graviton Surge would take out Guxue and Krystal. Getting on Wrecking Ball to stall, GodsB would easily be taken out, and Seoul reclaimed the point and take the map.
Hoping to turn things around on Garden, Hangzhou would get the first cap on the point. However, Min-hyuk “Michelle” Choi got GodsB’s Graviton Surge and Seoul reclaimed the point for quite some time. It took a few more team fights for the Spark to reclaim the point, but once they did the series turned into a real nail biter. The point was constantly flipping between the two; at 99%, Jehong “ryujehong” Ryu got a pick on Guxue and the Dynasty flipped things once more in their favor. Despite getting a pick on Ria, Guxue landed a fat shatter on Seoul that allowed the Spark to stall. Trickling in one-by-one, the Spark fought their hearts out to reclaim the point but in the end, Seoul would end up taking Lijiang Tower 2-0.
Hanamura: Spark 4-3 Seoul
Prior to this match, the Spark had a 0-1 record on Hanamura. Very few expected Hangzhou to be able to defeat the Dynasty on this map, but they ended up proving everyone wrong. Running GOATS, the Spark rushed through Point B, despite Marve1 getting a solid shatter on Guxue and GodsB. Bebe’s use of transcendence saved them from certain death, and the Spark would quickly cap Point A. Although they initially struggled against the Dynasty’s defenses, Ria landed a fat self destruct on Munchkin and Tobi. Hangzhou quickly capped Point B with more than four minutes left in their time bank.
On defense, the Spark nearly managed a full hold on the Dynasty, but a pick on Ria and a Graviton Surge being tossed onto the point by FITS was all Seoul needed to cap Point A. Although the Dynasty managed to cap Point B as well, the Spark ended up being able to stop them from capping Point B during their second chance at attack. Needing only one tick, the Spark blew through Points A and B with ease. The Spark would defy the odds and take Hanamura 4-3.
Blizzard World: Spark 5-4 Seoul
Subbing in Adora, Hangzhou would attack first on Blizzard World. Taking things slowly, GodsB took his time to build up the EMP on Sombra. Landing a vital EMP on the Dynasty, BeBe got a pick on Marve1 and this allowed the Spark to take down the remaining members of Seoul. Capping the point quickly, the Spark had no problem pushing the payload to the end of the map. GodsB once again landed a huge EMP on the Dynasty toward the end of the map. Despite FITS’ best efforts to Grav Hangzhou off the payload, the remaining members of Seoul ended up being wiped out by IDK.
On defense, the Dynasty would have a similar run to the Spark. Quickly capping the first point, Ryujehong continuously got great picks on Guxue and Hangzhou’s support line. This allowed the Dynasty to push the payload to the end of the map with more than enough time in the bank. Attacking once more, the Spark again took things slowly. Their patience earned them a final cap on the point, but they went into overtime as they did their best to push the payload to Point B. Unfortunately, the Dynasty stopped them just shy of the point. Defending once again, Seoul was able to quickly capture the point, but IDK killing Marve1 would scare the Dynasty off the point during overtime. The Hangzhou Spark would take Blizzard World 4-3.
Rialto: Spark 4-3 Seoul
Hangzhou would be the first to attack on Rialto. It took some time, but the Spark was able to push the payload to Point A after getting a key pick on Marve1. Breezing through Point B, it seemed as though nothing the Seoul Dynasty threw at them could stop them. Not being able to capitalize on FITS’ Graviton Surge, Michelle ended up eating GodsB’s Graviton and killing him. This key pick turned things around for the Dynasty, ending in a near team wipe for the Spark. After regrouping, Ria landed a self-destruct on Seoul. This paved a path for Hangzhou to take out the remaining members of the Dynasty.
On defense, Guxue quickly charged his Earthshatter and take out the Dynasty during one of their earlier pushes. Again, it seemed as though the Spark would full hold the Dynasty at Point A, but the Spark decided to unexpectedly pull back and let Seoul push the cart to Point A. In a hilarious turn of events, Guxue shattered the Dynasty on the bridge and FITS ended up on one of the boats floating through the canal. This separated him from his teammates and Seoul would once again be forced to regroup.
During the next team fight, IDK ended up having two great boops on the Seoul Dynasty, once on Ryujehong and again on Munchkin and FITS. With only a minute left to spare, FITS got a pick on Adora. This caused Hangzhou to pull back once again and the Dynasty managed to back cap the payload after Michelle threw a Self-Destruct that scared the Spark off the payload. Unfortunately for the Spark, Seoul would push the payload to the end of the map as well.
The Dynasty attacked one more time, but the Spark’s defenses constantly overwhelmed them. They were unable to push the payload further than the corner behind the hotel. With more time in the bank, the Spark rolled through the Dynasty’s defenses with ease. Landing a shatter on Marve1 and Munchkin pushed Munchkin out of position. This pick caused Seoul to unravel and the Spark would take Rialto 4-3.
The Hangzhou Spark had a tough start at the beginning of the stage when they faced off against the Vancouver Titans, but their hard work has definitely paid off. Defeating the Seoul Dynasty has secured them the last spot in the Stage 2 playoffs. Throughout the course of the stage, they have proven to be one of the more consistent teams in the league. During the quarter-finals, they will be going up against the London Spitfire. Although the Spitfire have been on an upward trajectory this stage, they still have had moments of inconsistency and had a fairly easy schedule this stage overall. The Spark will definitely be able to give the Spitfire a good fight during this upcoming match.
Follow me on Twitter: @Sybil_OW! I’m always happy to discuss anything I’ve written!
Featured image courtesy of the Hangzhou Spark.
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